Research and Archives

1759 | Hervey Smyth | Download original version » (.jpg 5 MB)

A view of Cape Rouge or Carouge, 9 miles (14 km) above the city of Quebec on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, 1759.

A View of Cape Rouge or Carouge, Nine Miles above the City of Québec. Hervey Smyth, W.H. Coverdale collection of Canadiana Manoir Richelieu collection, Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1970-188-22, C-041475.

1760 | Hervey Smyth | Download original version » (.jpg 5 MB)

A view of the Pierced Island, a remarkable rock in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, 1760.

A View of the Pierced Island, a remarkable Rock in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Hervey Smyth, fonds Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1997-2-2, C-000784.

Alexander McMartin correspondence

1796-1880 | Multiple | Download original version » (.pdf 835 KB)

Correspondence containing information relating to Alexander McMartin’s business dealing with the Rideau Canal. The series includes statements of completed works and correspondence related to the Rideau Canal project.

Archives of Ontario, F 526, Series B8 – E6. Alexander McMartin Fonds. Records relating to McMartin's business with the Rideau Canal [1796-1880].

1800-1830 | Philemon Wright | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

A spade that belonged to Philemon Wright, founder of Hull, from 1800 to 1830, made of ashwood.

Spade- Philemon Wright, 1800- 1830, steel & ash wood, Bytown Museum, I140.

ca. 1812 | Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 4 MB)

Hammer made from iron and ashwood, ca. 1812.

Hammer, ca. 1812, iron & ash wood, Bytown Museum, I26.

ca. 1820 | J. Crookshank | Download original version » (.jpg 5 MB)

Print of The Emigrants' Welcome to Canada, ca. 1820.

The Emigrants' Welcome to Canada. J. Cruikshank, W.H. Coverdale collection of Canadiana Manoir Richelieu collection, Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1970-188-2056, C-041067.

1821 | Peter Rindisbacher | Download original version » (.jpg 1 MB)

Departure from Dortrecht under Captain James Falbister, May 30, 1821. Peter Rindisbacher. Library and Archives and Canada, accession number 1988-250-1, C-001901.

1826 | Charles W. Jefferys | Download original version » (.jpg 4 MB)

Lt. Col. By watching the building of the Rideau Canal, 1826.

Colonel By Watching the Building of the Rideau Canal, 1826. Charles William Jefferys, Imperial Oil Collection series, Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1972-26-795, C-073703.

ca. 1827 | Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 2 MB)

Yardstick, ca. 1827, made of wood.

Yardstick, c. 1827, wood, Bytown Museum, I206.

ca. 1827-1841 | Amelia Bayfield | Download original version » (.jpg 4 MB)

The King's Wharf. Fanny Amelia Bayfield, Fanny Amelia Bayfield fonds. Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1989-287-12, C-002671.

1829 | Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 2 MB)

Return and desertion of the companies of the Royal Sappers and Miners employed upon the Rideau Canal since their arrival in Canada, chart, 1829.

Library and Archives Canada, MG-13-WO44, volume 15, pages 72-74.

WO 44 - Document 13

1830 | Multiple | Download original version » (.pdf 2 MB)

The Engineers Office 1830: the construction of the canal protected both in person and in lawsuits.

Library and Archives Canada, MG-13-WO44, volume 15, pages 38-47.

1830-1855 | Blasdell Foundry | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

Broad axe from the Blasdell Foundry, made of iron and ashwood, 1830 to 1855.

Blasdell Foundry, Broad Axe, 1830- 1855, iron & ash wood, Bytown Museum, 1993.002.01.

1839 | Henry Ainslie | Download original version » (.jpg 4 MB)

Watercolour from a sketchbook belonging to Henry Ainslie showing how the entrance of the first eight locks looked in 1839.

Entrance of the Rideau Canal, Bytown, Upper Canada (Ottawa). Henry Francis Ainslie fonds, Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1955-128-11, C-000518.

1841 | Bartlett | Download original version » (.jpg 5 MB)

A view of the Entrance Valley by W. H. Bartlett before 1841.

Locks on the Rideau Canal, Bytown (Ottawa). William Henry Bartlett fonds, Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1992-556-1, C-002367.

WO 55 - Document 7

1841 | Major Bolton | Download original version » (.pdf 757 KB)

February 23, 1841. Major Bolton requests assistance in the form of three servants, two female and one male, as he is in charge of the Rideau and Ottawa canals.

Library and Archives Canada, MG-13-WO55, volume 876, page 337.

1842 | P. J. Bainbrigge | Download original version » (.jpg 4 MB)

Joachim's Portage, lumberer's shanty, on the Ottawa River, 1842.

Joachim's Portage, Lumberer's Shanty on the Ottawa River. Philip John Bainbrigge fonds, Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1983-47-47, C-011838.

WO 55 - Document 8

1842 | Butler | Download original version » (.pdf 2 MB)

Office of Ordnance, August 26, 1842. With reference to a memorandum dated September 4, 1841 from the Commanding Royal Engineer in Canada, a petition from lock labourers on the Rideau Canal for an increase of pay. Response from G. Butler confirms that following discussions between the master general and Board of Ordnance, the pay of the paid labourers, temporary as well as permanent, be increased during the season of navigation. The master general and board also decided it was best to decrease the numbers of permanent labourers during the winter season to better accommodate the pay raise.

Library and Archives Canada, MG-13-WO55, volume 877, pages 283-285.

1843-1844 | Thomas Burrowes | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

Lock at Davis Mill, repairing the gates and wooden bottom of lock.

Archives of Ontario, C 1-0-0-0-51. Thomas Burrowes fonds. Repairing the Lock at Davis Mill in Winter [1843].

1845 | Thomas Burrowes | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

Thomas Burrowes painting done from the Royal Engineers Office at the first eight locks in May of 1845.

North entrance of the Rideau Canal from the Ottawa River [1845]. Thomas Burrowes fonds. Archives of Ontario, C 1-0-0-0-14.

ca. 1845 | Thomas Burrowes | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

Lower Bytown from the East Bank of the Deep Cut, ca. 1845.

Lower Bytown, from the East Bank of the Deep-cut, Rideau [1845]. Thomas Burrowes fonds. Archives of Ontario, C 1-0-0-0-12.

1851 | The Illustrated London News | Download original version » (.jpg 2 MB)

(top) The Emigration Agents' Office - The Passage Money Paid. (middle) Emigration Vessel - Between Decks. The Illustrated London News, Illustrated books, albums and scrapbooks, Libarary and Archives Canada, accession number: MIKAN 2956054, C-006556 / Departure of the 'Nimrod' and 'Athlone' Steamers, with Emigrants on Board, for Liverpool. The Illustrated London News, Illustrated books, albums and scrapbooks, Libarary and Archives Canada, accession number: 2956053, C-006556.

1855 | Edwin Whitefield | Download original version » (.jpg 24 MB)

Lithograph, Ottawa City, Canada West (Upper Town).

Ottawa City, Canada West (Upper Town). Edwin Whitefield, Charles Berkeley Powell fonds. Library and Archives Canada, accession number R11188-2, C-000601.

History of the Royal Sappers and Miners

1857 | T. W. J. Connolly | Download original version » (.pdf 719 KB)

Names of men who were killed or drowned during the construction of the Rideau Canal.

T.W. J Connolley, History of the Royal Sappers and Miners [microform] : from the formation of the corps in March 1772 to the date when its designation was changed to that of Royal Engineers in October 1856, London : Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans and Roberts, 1857, Carleton University Library, FC18.C15.N.16766.

1859 | Wightman | Download original version » (.jpg 4 MB)

Upper Bytown, looking west.

Ottawa, Canada West, - Upper Town, looking west. Wightman fonds, Library and Archives Canada published holdings project, Library and Archives Canada, accession number: MIKAN 2956658, C-010386.

ca. 1859 | Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

The Parliament Buildings were constructed from 1859 to 1867. This image was likely taken early on, as remnants of temporary workers’ shanties remain and the original Centre Block tower has yet to be built.

Ottawa - Building The Parliament Buildings. Unknown Photographer, Library and Archives Canada accession number: 2000805619, e010939381.

1860 | Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 2 MB)

Several lumber rafts pictured on the Ottawa River directly below Barrack Hill, dating prior to 1860.

Barracks Hill and Ottawa River with lumber. Unknown Photographer, Library and Archives Canada accession number: 2000629909 600-7, e010939376.

1860 | Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 2 MB)

A log boom on the Ottawa River beneath the Library of Parliament; photograph taken in 1860.

Library of Parliament and Log Boom on the Ottawa River, Ottawa. Unknown Photographer, Library and Archives Canada accession number: 2000629909 600-7, e010939377.

ca. 1861 | Samuel McLaughlin | Download original version » (.jpg 5 MB)

Looking east from Parliament Hill, by Samuel McLaughlan, ca. 1861.

View towards east from Parliament Hill, Parliament Buildings - Construction.  Samuel McLaughlin fonds, Photographs of miscellaneous events and activities throughout Canada collection, Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1964-144 NPC, C-000610.

1862 | George Seton | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

A watercolour illustration of a steamship on the canal, by George Seton in 1862.

The Steamer Pilot on the Rideau Canal, August 3, 1844. George Seton, William Henry Edward Napier fonds, Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1950-63-1.17R, C-001072.

1864-1900 | Morse Twist Drill and Machine Co. | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

Hand brace and bit made by Morse Twist Drill and Machine Co., 1864 to 1900.

Morse Twist Drill & Machine Co., Hand Brace and Bit, 1864- 1900, Bytown Museum, I63.

1867 | Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 2 MB)

Photograph of workers, likely associated with the booming timber trade, at the wharf slightly east of Entrance Bay, 1867.

Ottawa, Canada. Unknown Photographer, Library and Archives Canada accession number: 2000629897 6000-9, e010939378.

ca. 1867 | Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 2 MB)

Completed Parliament Buildings above activities surrounding the timber trade on the Ottawa River; photograph dates after 1867.

Parliament Buildings. Unknown Photographer, Library and Archives Canada accession number: 2000805602, e010939380.

ca. 1868 | F. A. Hopkins | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

A timber raft painted by Frances Anne Hopkins.

The Timber Raft. Frances Anne Hopkins, Peter Winkworth Collection of Canadiana, 2002 Acquisition, Library and Archives Canada, accession number R9266-278, C-150716.

ca. 1872 | A. Henderson | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

Timber raft in front of Parliament Buildings, Ottawa River

Timber raft in front of Parliament Buildings, Ottawa River. A. Henderson, Views of Canada, Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1981-156 NPC, PA-149793.

1880 | Henri Julien | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

A cartoon from the Canadian Illustrated News depicting the arrival of immigrants into Canada, 1880.

Come To Stay. Henri Julien, Illustrated books, albums and scrapbooks, Library and Archives Canada, accession number: MIKAN 2914941, C-075551.

ca. 1880 | Topley | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

Photogrpah of Entrance Valley and the rear of Parliament Hill by William James Topley, 1880.

Parliament Hill from rear showing Rideau Canal Locks and Entrance Bay. William James Topley, Topley Series TXF, Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1936-270 NPC , PA-012382.

Nineteenth Century | Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

Curd chopper made of steel and ashwood.

Curd Chopper, 19th C., steel & ash wood, Bytown Museum, F1.

Nineteenth Century | Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 2 MB)

Hay knife made of iron and ashwood.

Hay Knife, 19th C., iron & ash wood, Bytown Museum, F27.

Nineteenth Century | Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

Meat chopper from the nineteenth century made of metal and wood.

Meat Chopper, 19th C., metal & wood, Bytown Museum, H297.

Nineteenth Century | Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

Clevis and link hook from the nineteenth century, made of iron.

Clevis and Link Hook, 19th C., iron, Bytown Museum, I96.

Nineteenth Century | Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 6 MB)

Shoulder yoke from the nineteenth century made of cedar.

Shoulder Yoke, 19th C., cedar & iron, Bytown Museum, I172 a.

Nineteenth Century | Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

Sap bucket from the nineteenth century made of cedar and iron.

Sap Bucket, 19th C., cedar & iron, Bytown Museum, I172 b.

Nineteenth Century | Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 2 MB)

Froe knife from the nineteenth century made of wood.

Froe Knife, 19th C., iron, Bytown Museum, I179.

Nineteenth Century | Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 2 MB)

Mallet from the nineteenth century made of wood.

Mallet, 19th C., wood, Bytown Museum, I180.

Nineteenth Century | Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 2 MB)

Drawknife from the nineteenth century made of iron.

Drawknife, 19th C., iron, Bytown Museum, I211.

Nineteenth Century | Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 2 MB)

Spike from the nineteenth century made of iron.

Spike, 19th C., iron, Bytown Museum, I212.

Nineteenth Century | Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 2 MB)

Pitchfork from the nineteenth century made of iron.

Pitch Fork, 19th C., iron, Bytown Museum, I100.

ca. 1905 | W.M. Harmer | Download original version » (.jpg 4 MB)

Waiting for dinner in the cook shanty at a logging camp in the Ottawa Valley, ca. 1905.

Waiting for dinner in the cook shanty at a logging camp in the Ottawa Valley, Harmer William Morell / Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1966-033 NPC , PA-131963.

1911 | Topley | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

A photograph of the Rideau Queen travelling the Rideau Canal, by William James Topley in 1911.

Driveway near subway. "Rideau Queen" and G.T.R. bridge. William James Topley, Topley Series C, Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1936-270 NPC, PA-009987.

1912-1913 | W.D. Watt | Download original version » (.jpg 1 MB)

Hewing felled timber, operations of McFadden & Gillies, Jocko River, Ontario, 1912-1913.

Hewing felled timber, operations of McFadden & Gillies, Jocko River, Ont. W. D Watt, Booth family album, W.D. Watt/Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1979-208 NPC, PA-121799.

1925 | John Boyd | Download original version » (.jpg 529 KB)

Photograph of renovations undertaken on January 7, 1925, by John Boyd.

Renewing the old canal, Ottawa, [Ont.]. John Boyd, John Boyd fonds, Library and Archives Canada, accession number: MIKAN 3326230, PA-086977.

1991 | Bruce S. Elliott | Download original version » (.jpg 256 KB)

Irish at the Rideau Canal, 1829: percentage distribution of petitioners, by county of origin.

Irish at the Rideau Canal, 1829, percentage distribution of petitioners by country of origin. © 2002 Genealogical Society.

Topley | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

A photograph of Klock’s Mills by William James Topley, date unknown.

At Klock's Mills. William James Topley, Topley Series E, Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1936-270 NPC, PA-008417.

Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 5 MB)

Felling axe head.

Felling axe head (34H453-1), Parks Canada, Ontario Service Centre.

Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

Bucksaw made of wood and metal.

Bucksaw, n.d., wood & metal, Bytown Museum, I187.

Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

Parks Canada Artefact.

Hauling chain (34H25A17-1), Parks Canada, Ontario Service Centre.

Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

Fishing spear made from wood, iron, bone, and rawhide.

Fishing Spear, n.d., wood, iron, bone & rawhide, Bytown Museum, I14.

Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 2 MB)

Workers of the lumber industry are shown riding the log boom down the Ottawa River; date and photographer unknown.

Floating Timber Down The Ottawa River. Unknown Photographer, Library and Archives Canada accession number:2000629912 600-18, e010939379.

Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 2 MB)

Ice saw made of iron and ashwood.

Ice Saw, n.d., iron & ash wood, Bytown Museum, I175.

Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 4 MB)

Jumper bit.

Jumper bit (34H4X3-1), Parks Canada, Ontario Service Centre.

Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

Large flat file marked “ W. Hall”.

Large flat file marked “ W. Hall” (34H5R2-5), Parks Canada, Ontario Service Centre.

Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

Parks Canada Artefact.

One side of the hand barrow (34H25A3-1), Parks Canada, Ontario Service Centre.

Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

A lumber raft on the Ottawa River. The lumbermen standing atop aid in communicating the raft’s immense scale, a trick used by many photographers at this time to correctly illustrate relative size; date and photographer are unknown.

Lumber Raft - At a distance. Unknown Photographer, Library and Archives Canada accession number: 2000805708, e010939383.

Topley | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

Shanties built by and lived in by workers of the lumber industry in the Ottawa Valley; photographer William James; Topley had the inhabitants included for scale, date unknown.

Messrs. Klock's Shanties. William James Topley, Topley Series E , Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1936-270 NPC, PA-008402.

Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 2 MB)

Parks Canada Artefact.

Miner’s spoon (34H4V4-6), Parks Canada, Ontario Service Centre.

Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 1 MB)

The river steamer Murray Bay on the St. Lawrence River, date unknown.

Murray Bay' Steamer, Unknown Photographer, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Manitoba, album 43, Canada. Dept. of Mines and Resources / Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1939-457 NPC, C-023018.

Ken Jacobson | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

Several rafts photographed on the Ottawa River and large stacks of lumber piled high in Quebec; date and photographer unknown.

Ottawa Rafts, River and Teepee. Photographer Unknown, Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1989-139 NPC, e010939375.

Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 21 MB)

Photograph of a log boom, or timber raft, floats beneath the Parliament Buildings in Entrance Valley; photographer and date are unknown.

Parliament Buildings, Ottawa (Page 21, photo #2). Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1992-403, e010801339.

Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 5 MB)

Photo Booklet of Old Bytown (City Hall)

Photo Booklet of Old Bytown (City Hall), n.d., photo album, Bytown Museum, P3016.

Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 2 MB)

Parks Canada Artefact.

Pry bar (34H25B10-2), Parks Canada, Ontario Service Centre.

Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 2 MB)

Photograph of The Rideau Queen steamship traversing the length of the Rideau Canal.

Rideau Queen near Chaffeys Locks, Ont. Unknown Photographer, John M. Mills fonds, Mills, J.M. / Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1951-038 NPC, C-009416.

Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 6 MB)

Parks Canada Artefact.

Sledge hammer head (34H2W2-1), Parks Canada, Ontario Service Centre.

Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 5 MB)

Splitter made from iron.

Splitter, n.d., iron, Bytown Museum, I176.

Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 5 MB)

Splitting wedge.

Splitting wedge (34H13Q10-1), Parks Canada, Ontario Service Centre.

Topley | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

Photograph of stables and shanties built by many of the Rideau Canal workers during the canal’s construction. This photograph was taken by William James Topley, date unknown.

The stables of Klock's shanty.  William James Topley, Topley Series E, Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1936-270 NPC, PA-008396.

Topley | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

A photograph of the workers’ shanties by William James Topley, date unknown.

The stables of Klock's shanty.William James Topley, Topley Series E, Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1936-270 NPC, PA-008396.

Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 3 MB)

Vice clamp made of wood.

Vice Clamp, n.d., wood, Bytown Museum, I171.

Unknown | Download original version » (.jpg 4 MB)

Parks Canada Artefact.

Wedge & Feather (34H3X4-1 & 34H4Q2-3), Parks Canada, Ontario Service Centre.

WO 44 - Document 19

Lt. Col. John By | Download original version » (.pdf 10 MB)

Report on alterations and extra works relating to Maitland’s Rapids, Edmund’s Rapids, Old Slys, and Smith Falls prepared by Lt. Col. By.

Library and Archives Canada, MG-13-WO44, volume 18, pages 258-276.